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  • Are Span's Days in Minnesota Numbered?

    Since he was first called up in 2008, Denard Span has been an integral cog for the Twins. He's also been a joy to watch. He plays hard, brings a great approach to the plate, offers very solid defense in center, and is good with the fans.

    Yeah, it's fair to say that I'm a big fan of Span. So I'm going to make sure to savor watching what will very likely be his final month in a Twins uniform.

    There are a number of factors that lead me to believe Span's departure from the organization is imminent.

    First and foremost, there's Ben Revere's emergence as a legitimate top-of-the-lineup asset. The Twins seem well aware that Revere isn't suited for right field, and at this point his production is almost identical to Span's. Moving Revere to center would create an opening in right field for Chris Parmelee, who's hopelessly buried at this point.

    Even as someone who thoroughly enjoys watching Span play, I must admit that trading him makes a lot of sense from a team-building standpoint. It would open opportunities for young players while hopefully returning talent at an organizational area of need.

    The fact that the Twins have floated Span to other teams in the past would also support the notion that they're open to moving him. Reports indicated that they were close to shipping him to Washington at the deadline last year, and those rumblings from what I heard did not sit well with the outfielder at all.

    Is there lingering animosity between player and organization? That certainly hasn't been on display this year. In fact, Ron Gardenhire recently said that Span "might've been our best player in the first half this year." I was struck by that statement, mainly because the center fielder's production hasn't been especially outstanding. A part of me couldn't help but wonder whether Gardy was taking that angle with reporters in an effort to increase Span's appeal to potential suitors.

    Presumably, finding interested trade partners won't be a huge challenge. Span's concussion issues appear to be a thing of the past, and although he's no longer the top-notch offensive force he was in his first two seasons, he's a very solid 28-year-old leadoff man who handles center field well.

    His team-friendly contract runs through 2014 (with a 2015 club option) and will pay him just $11 million over the next two seasons. That's a good value for what he brings to the table, but it's also money the Twins could stand to spend elsewhere. Opening up that payroll space, while also creating opportunities for younger guys and getting future assets back in return, is basically a no-brainer regardless of your feelings on Span.

    Terry Ryan and the rest of the front office brain trust surely realize this, which is why whispers of the center fielder's availability are already leaking out.

    It wouldn't surprise me if Gardenhire actually does feel like Span has been his best player up to this point. The guy's been a soldier, bouncing back from a tumultuous season and playing in 71 of the club's 77 games over the first three months, providing consistency and stability at the top of the lineup and in the middle of the outfield.

    Trading him just makes too much sense, however, regardless of whether the Twins are positioning themselves as a seller or not. I'll be very surprised if he's still on the team come August 1st.
    This article was originally published in blog: Are Span's Days in Minnesota Numbered? started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 69 Comments
    1. Kobs's Avatar
      Kobs -
      200 at bats do not make Span expendable.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      From Jim Bowden's latest piece in discussion about the Nats potentially trading Alex Meyer:

      Because he signed just before the old Aug. 15 signing deadline, Meyer can't officially be traded until after Aug. 15 this year; however, the Nats could make Meyer available as a player to be named later in a deal at the deadline if they can acquire a center fielder such as the Minnesota Twins’ Denard Span or Ben Revere...
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      That would be something the Twins would consider. Meyer could move through the system pretty quickly and would instantly become the Twins #1 starting pitcher in the minors.
    1. DPJ's Avatar
      DPJ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      That would be something the Twins would consider. Meyer could move through the system pretty quickly and would instantly become the Twins #1 starting pitcher in the minors.
      There's nothing about Meyer that's should or will more quickly, he's pretty raw for a guy coming outta college. He still struggles with his command, the Nats were smart to send him to low-A to start his career.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      From Jim Bowden's latest piece in discussion about the Nats potentially trading Alex Meyer:

      Definitely something I could get behind.
    1. notoriousgod71's Avatar
      notoriousgod71 -

      Alex Meyer article regarding the Future's Game.
    1. Curt's Avatar
      Curt -
      The good thing about average players is that half the teams view them as an upgrade.
      as CF .272 .335 .434 .769 .259 11.4 3.8
      Batting 1st .265 .329 .398 .727 .248 11.8 4.1
      Span .270 .334 .375 .709 .244 9 3
    1. amjgt's Avatar
      amjgt -
      I like Span and I go back and forth on whether we should trade him.

      1. Trade him - Blow this thing up. Whoever has value, trade 'em. Load up the farm with an eye for 2014/5
      2. Don't trade him - I really like 1/2/3/4 right now with Span/Revere/Mauer/Willingham. I look at that and think, "nothing to fix there." There aren't a lot of places on this Twins team where I feel like we don't need to change anything to be a playoff team. Our 1-4 could be the 1-4 of a playoff team (Actually, if you replaced Morneau with either a slightly above league average 1B, or 75% of what he used to be, I would be happy with our 1-7)
      3. Trade him - His value is high right now, in spite of his numbers being somewhat down. We've got a guy, in Revere, that can slide right into CF and the leadoff spot. Shop him. Get what you can.
      4. Don't trade him - He's a good CF and he's signed for a reasonable price for the next 3 years (probably why other teams want him)
      5. Trade him - Every decent offensive prospect in the organization is either currently in the OF, or looks like they might be headed there. We need to balance things out.

      Right now #2 is leading, in my head, so I say don't trade him.

      Tomorrow might be a different story.
    1. amjgt's Avatar
      amjgt -
      In the end, it's a decent spot for the Twins to be in. There are plenty of reasons to keep Span around, but if someone really wants him and is willing to give us good prospects, he's also fairly expendable.
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